Dictionary 50p coin: how much is it worth?

A 50p commemorating the publication of Samuel Johnson's dictionary in 1755 is one of the most common collectable coins.

It could still be worth a decent sum if you find it in your spare change though – here is how much you could get for a Dictionary 50p.

The Dictionary 50p was minted in 2005 to mark the 250th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language.

It displays the words fifty and pence and includes their meanings as written in the publication at the time.

This wasn't any ordinary dictionary though.

It was the most complex of its time, taking eight years to complete and featuring detailed definitions of 40,000 words.


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The dictionary was used by famous authors such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Oscar Wilde.

How rare is the Dictionary 50p?

There are plenty of Dictionary 50p coins around so you do have a good chance of finding them in your spare change.

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The Royal Mint put 17.6million into circulation, according to CoinChecker.

That may not seem like a lot compared with the 200 million regular 50ps that are circulating.

But more rare coins such as the Kew Gardens 50p have circulation figures of just 210,000.

The Dictionary 50p is marked as one of the most common commemorative coins on CoinChecker's Scarcity Index.

It has a score of just 1, while the rarest coins such as the Kew Gardens, Triathlon and Wrestling 50p coins score 100, 89 and 87 respectively.

How much is the Dictionary 50p worth?

The Dictionary 50p coin is quite common and easily found, meaning it doesn't automatically command the same triple or quadruple figure valuations that others may do.

The Coinhunter websites suggests it is worth just £1 to a collector.

But there are examples of people bucking this trend.

One listed as sold on eBay for £2,800 in 2020 but there is no guarantee that this was paid.

A different eBay listing earlier this month suggested a version of the coin sold for £500.

Valuations can be subjective and a collector may be willing to pay more such as if the coin completes their collection.

How rare are other 50ps in my change?

Lookout for unique designs or mistakes on your spare change as this can be where the most value is found.

Other than the Kew Gardens 50p, Peter Rabbit and Isaac Newton designs are also pretty rare.

The Isaac Newton 50p has sold for up to £48 on eBay while Peter Rabbit designs have sold for hundreds.

A coin is only worth what someone is willing to bid on it and there is no guarantee of how much you will get.

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Designs with a low mintage will be more valuable as they are harder to find.

You can check in with experts like Coin Hunter, Change Checker, or The Royal Mint to see what your change is worth and help spot fakes.

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